AMLO’s biggest blow to crime so far, will it fuel the war or bring peace for Guanajuato?


AMLO's biggest blow to crime so far

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AMLO’s biggest blow to crime so far

The Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, now highly affected, has been running a bloody war since 2018 with the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) for control of the territory in Guanajuato, which in recent years became the most violent state in the country.

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Mexico, Aug 2 (EFE) .- The Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador This Sunday dealt its greatest blow to organized crime by capturing the leader of the powerful Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, with which the question of whether or not the violence in Guanajuato, the state with the most murders in Mexico.

After several weeks narrowing the circle on José Antonio “Y”, known as “The Brown”, this morning the capo was captured in Apaseo El Alto (Guanajuato) in a joint operation between federal and state authorities in which a businesswoman who was kidnapped was released.

“Of course it is the biggest coup in two years and an important achievement after the failed capture of Ovidio Guzmán (son of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán) in October last year,” he told EFE Pedro Isnardo de la Cruz, drug trafficking specialist.


The Government kept track of “The Brown” for more than a year for its network of kidnappings, extortion, drug trafficking and, above all, the theft of gasoline from the oil pipelines of the state oil company Pemex.

Arrest of

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Arrest of

José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, alias “El Marro”, was until today one of the men most persecuted by the Mexican authorities. Photo: Dark Quarter

At the end of June, through a video in the courtyard of a house, “El Marro” swore vengeance against the government for the capture of several members of his organization, including his mother, which evidenced his weakening.

The same Secretary of Security of the López Obrador Government, Alfonso Durazo, scoffed then that “El Marro” “is no longer at home with a pool, he is in a half-built house battling to cover the payroll.”

For security analyst Alejandro Hope, his capture is “good news” to end impunity and because “police cooperation survived the political confrontation.”

The persecution against “El Marro” had led to fights between López Obrador and the Governor of Guanajuato, the opposition Diego Sinhue Rodríguez, who accused each other of not doing enough.

Finally, an “effective operation” was achieved, in the words of analyst Javier Oliva, since “El Marro” was captured “without firing and in a coordinated manner”, in addition to being arrested in flagrante delicto during a kidnapping, which will serve as evidence before the judge.

After his arrest, “El Marro” was transferred to the Altiplano maximum security prison, the famous prison from which “El Chapo” escaped through a tunnel in 2015.


The Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, now highly affected, has been running a bloody war since 2018 with the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) for control of the territory in Guanajuato, which in recent years became the most violent state in the country.

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“El Marro” was detained in a joint operation in the state of Guanajuato. Photo: Dark Quarter

In this central region, with a strong presence of the automotive industry, 2,293 people were killed in the first half of the year, with an average of almost 13 daily victims.

There are two antagonistic options that derive from the fall of “El Marro”. Violence may be reduced by the weakness of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel or it may flare up in the wake of a battle for control of what remains of the organization.

Oliva highlighted the evident weakness of the cartel, since during the capture there were no blockades or attacks on the security forces, as had happened in other attempts.

“In the last decades when a leader was arrested there was a very violent response. I want to suppose that we have learned and there was a remarkable intelligence work, “said the expert, who recalled that last year the Army had to release the son of” El Chapo “due to the violence that the Sinaloa Cartel unleashed in Culiacán.

For Hope, when a leader is captured, it is a symbol of the “dismantling of his protection network” but, less optimistic, he warned that the fall of “El Marro” “does not end the crisis of violence in Guanajuato.”

“We have a lot of experience to think about pacification. Now there may be a fragmentation of the organization, so what must be achieved is the dismantling of its structure, ”he pointed out.


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José Antonio Yépez is the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel. Photo: Dark Quarter


In addition, an eventual dissolution of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel would leave a free trail in the state for the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel.

In recent weeks, this organization led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho”, has publicized his strength with a failed attack on the police chief of the Mexican capital and with a video that shows his military might.

Given these gestures and after the capture of “El Marro”, “a correct message is sent that the Mexican State has the capacity to capture the leaders,” said Hope.

Just two weeks ago, López Obrador toured the most violent states in the country, such as Guanajuato or Jalisco, where he was very clear: “I want you to listen well and listen far. We are not going to negotiate with crime (…) We are not going to be intimidated, ”he said.

De la Cruz pointed out that “the most important challenge remains the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel” and that “the strategy of avoiding direct confrontation between the cartels can be effective.”

López Obrador has consolidated the use of the Armed Forces in public security tasks, but has so far refused to open a frontal battle with organized crime to avoid deaths.

This is the position that the President used when ordering the capture last year of Ovidio Guzmán, a gesture that has raised speculation about an alleged pact with the Sinaloa Cartel.

“It is normal that while efforts are focused on one organization, the others are left more relaxed, although that does not mean that there is an agreement,” defended Oliva, who, however, branded the image of last March as López Obrador greeting in a town the mother of “El Chapo” and Ovid’s grandmother.

Video: La Jornada – “El Marro” (La Jornada) is arrested

La Jornada – “El Marro” is detained




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